Texas State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar has now released a statement explaining that she will not seek re-election to her seat next year. She used her announcement to endorse Brian Russell, an Austin attorney and State Republican Executive Committee member, as her replacement. Russell has already announced his intention to seek the seat and said Dunbar recruited him.

From Dunbar’s announcement:

“I promised them that I would be a statesman and not a career politician and that I would get in, get the job done and get out.  That is exactly what I have done. I know it is common for politicians to make that promise and then conveniently forget it once they have reached the ranks of popularity and incumbent security.  However, I am satisfied that I have been effective in accomplishing all that I had promised and I intend to keep my word to my constituents.  I have kept my finger on the pulse of my district, which has enabled me to know what they ultimately want and I have not been deterred by minority opposition.”

The Texas Tribune has more here.

We’re unsure what job Dunbar thinks she finished. She has… Read More

by Dan Quinn

So what happens if Brian Russell, a State Republican Executive Committee member from Austin, replaces Cynthia Dunbar on the Texas State Board of Education after next year’s elections? Russell told the Texas Tribune today that he wants to keep education policy “moving in the direction we’ve been going in.” From the Tribune:

Russell, who previously endorsed Dunbar and seeks to be her replacement, has nothing but kind words for Dunbar: “I think she’s had a terrific record of achievement on the board. She’s been a problem solver and someone who’s exhibitied a lot of leadership.”

“My advantage is that I haven’t been a lightning rod,” he said.

But that’s a consequence of people not knowing yet just how politically extreme he is. Just take a look at the 2004 Texas Republican Party platform that he helped write (page 31 of this report). And check out the anti-science resolution he pushed through the State Republican Executive Committee last March.

And remember that Cynthia “Public Schools Are Tools of Perversion” Dunbar recruited him for the state board. That alone says volumes.… Read More

According to reporter Kate Alexander at the Austin American-Statesman, David Bradley is confirming that fellow Texas State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar will not seek re-election to her seat next year. Bradley told the Statesman that Dunbar recently began teaching at the Liberty University School of Law in Virginia and commutes from her home in Texas. The late Rev. Jerry Falwell founded Liberty University.

Bradley, R-Beaumont Buna, won re-election to his seat last year. The seats of two other far-right board members — Don McLeroy, R-College Station, and Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio — are up for election next year. So far McLeroy and Mercer appear to be seeking re-election.… Read More

Stunning news: Cynthia Dunbar may not be running for re-election to her seat on the Texas State Board of Education. Quorum Report, an online political news site (subscription required) based in Austin, is reporting that State Republican Executive Committee member Brian Russell, an Austin attorney, is seeking Dunbar's seat. According to QR, Russell says Dunbar recruited him to run. TFN has exposed and documented Dunbar's extremism in the past. In her 2008 book, One Nation Under God, Dunbar called public education a "subtle tool of perversion," "tyrannical" and unconstitutional. During the 2008 president election, Dunbar attacked then-candidate Barack Obama as a Marxist and a terrorist sympathizer who wanted another attack on America so that he could declare martial law and throw out the Constitution. Dunbar has also been a leader of efforts by the State Board of Education's far-right faction to politicize our children's social studies classrooms and to promote creationist arguments against evolution in science classrooms. Unfortunately, Russell would hardly be an improvement. He successfully persuaded the State Republican Executive Committee in March to pass a resolution demanding that all Republican state board members support creationist arguments…… Read More

In an e-mail to supporters today, education consultant Judy Jennings of Austin responded to the announcement from University of Texas mathematics professor Lorenzo Sadun that he is withdrawing from the race for Cynthia Dunbar's seat on the Texas State Board of Education. Sadun's withdrawal leaves Jennings as the only announced Democratic candidate for the seat. Dunbar faces Republican teacher Rebecca Osborne in the March GOP primary. See Jennings' e-mail after the jump. Read More

Texas Freedom Network

We can't thank Sonja enough for her six years of service with TFN. Just Texas wouldn't be what it is today without her. While Sonja's absence will be deeply felt, we wish her the best of luck as she begins a new chapter with Whole Women's Health! twitter.com/wearejus…